Brazil’s President Is Ousted, But The Country Won’t Be Rid Of Government Corruption

On Wednesday, Brazil’s Senate voted to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office for allegedly manipulating the South American country’s budget. Unfortunately for Brazilians who want to see their government work properly and responsibly, impeaching President Rousseff will not eliminate government corruption. The country has too many corruption scandals to count, and the man taking over for her, Vice President Michel Temer, has also been accused of illegal activity.

Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, initially faced the lower house of Congress in May, which voted to impeach her. The Senate vote confirmed the impeachment ruling in August, suspending her while a trial played out. After the Senate trial, a majority of the legislators found her guilty of bypassing Congress for government spending. Prosecutors for Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court claimed Rousseff delayed repayments to Brazilian lenders who advanced money for social programs, which is against Brazil’s fiscal responsibility law. Doing so made it look like the government had more money than it actually did. She didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, claiming former presidents have messed with the budget, but those who wanted her out said her manipulation of billions of dollars helped her get re-elected.

She won’t face jail time for the crime, but had to abdicate her throne. The Senate also voted not to bar her from public office, so she could potentially still work in government.

Impeachment Trial For Dilma Rousseff Continues In Brasilia
CREDIT: Igo Estrela/Getty Images

While she was temporarily suspended, Temer took over and will now likely remain as president until Rousseff’s second term is up in 2018. The new president was accused of participating in an illegal ethanol purchasing scandal by getting jobs at the national oil company, Petrobras, for two executives who have been sentenced to prison for fraud and bribery. However, Temer denied these allegations and the prosecutor general won’t investigate him due to a lack of substantial evidence. With that behind him, Temer was ordered in May to pay a fine of about $23,000 for violating the country’s campaign finance laws, just before taking over the highest government position.

On top of all that, one of the lawmakers who led the fight to oust President Rousseff, Eduardo Cunha, was forced to step down as president of the lower house of Congress temporarily after being charged with taking $40 million in bribes for himself and his friends and laundering money through an evangelical megachurch.

Needless to say, there are sketchy things going down all over the place — not just with Rousseff.